31 December 2007

My New Year Haiku

as the new year comes
i prepare myself for the
wonders it may bring

11 December 2007

Is it just me or is this stupid?

My mail service pharmacy recently sent me a prescription refill and enclosed was a letter I was supposed to sign.

Enclosed please find our Notice of Privacy Practices. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), we are legally required to distribute this policy and obtain the signature of each family member who receives prescriptions through our mail service pharmacy acknowledging that they have received it. Parents should sign on behalf of their minor children.

Please take a few minutes to review the policy, and then have each adult member listed below sign their names in the appropriate spaces.

No problem, except of course that the policy wasn't enclosed. So I called and said that I would be happy to sign the letter as requested, but the policy was not enclosed and that being the case I couldn't sign the letter to say that I had received and reviewed it. I was told by the very confused Customer Service representative, that the policy is never enclosed and that I just needed to sign the letter and send it back.


I refuse to believe that I'm the only person who ever pointed out the lunacy of sending letters to customers asking them to acknowledge receipt of a document they have in fact NOT received.

A bit frustrated with the woman on the telephone, I sent a fax to the company.

No response...

So here we sit in some kind of perverse stalemate. I'm not signing their stupid letter and they're not sending the bloody policy. Of course they can opt to stop sending me my medicine, but I am prepared to fight this. Okay, I'm prepared to fight it for the next six weeks, then it's a moot point anyway.

Stay tuned for developments...

09 December 2007

The Facebook Effect

Good grief, it's been a while...

Well it's not like I wasn't warned, I just didn't want to believe it: Facebook can have a disastrous impact on a blog. So in my case, though my Facebook profile is quite developed, my poor blog is looking like a neglected child...

Obviously, I'm enjoying my Facebook self. I've got a decent amount of friends and since most of them are people I actually know and like, I have no complaints about that. There are also some cool applications that could take up quite a bit of my time, if I allowed them to. Actually, I'm thinking of the Movies application and the night I spent hours searching for cool clips from my favorite films and adding them to my profile. Time well spent, I assure you...

The thing with Facebook is that there the applications do the talking for me. God knows what I'm saying about myself with Filthbook, but Virtual Bookshelf and iLike perhaps balance my image. And then there are the postings from my friends that may give some hints about me based on whatever it is they're saying to me or sending me. Then there are the Questions I ask, the Groups I belong to, and the Causes I support, which must also offer a glimpse into my soul. Or maybe not, who knows??

I suppose I have finally returned to my blog because I just need to speak for me myself; and not speak for me by displaying applications or groups that i find interesting. I'm not sure I have anything particularly interesting to say here these days, but I'm back nevertheless and let's just see what happens, shall we?

04 August 2007

Shirley Bassey

I was shocked to discover that at 46, I am closer to 70 than I am to 20. How on earth did that happen, I ask you? So forgive me for being on the lookout for amazingly hot septagenarians, who seem to show that life needn't be one long painful slide into the grave.

That said, imagine my utter delight at finding Shirley Bassey's interpetation of Pink's Get the Party Started. Now that's a role model I can live with.


28 July 2007

Um... NASA, WTF????

Now I really have heard EVERYTHING: Astronauts flying under the influence of alcohol. I mean give me a break.

I truly can't be bothered to look up the name of that mallet-wielding, pepper-spray carrying, and possibly diaper-wearing jilted lover chick who caused NASA to conduct the internal review that led to this most recent embarrassment, but at least she waited to act a fool (as Barbara Jean would say) once she was back on the ground. And though I wish alcohol could explain what she did, apparently she crossed a few state lines ready to kick some love rival ass while she was stone cold sober. But lifting off into space while so obviously drunk that colleagues are concerned for their safety? That just about rips it. Try piloting an America West flight that drunk and see what happens.

Along with the shameless increase in public nosepicking, yet further evidence that we are truly witnessing the decline and fall of western civilization.


Cruel and Unusual?

Holy Shit!

I can't tell if this is "cruel and unusual punishment" or a very cool way for prisoners to get their exercise while locked up. In any case, I offer for your consideration, a bunch of inmates in the Philippines "doing" Thriller. Tja, and there you were thinking Turkish prisons were hellish...

21 July 2007

Lost Treasures

Say what you will about the wonders of email and all the speed and convenience associated with this type of communication, I miss letters and postcards.

So here I am in DC (still) unpacking my stuff, which up until now has been a rather joyous task. I repeat, until now. Now I am going through the boxes of letters sent to me over the years; the biggest stack by far arriving the first year I ran off to Europe (1994-1995). People I no longer have contact with, writing to offer moral support for the wacky adventure that was (and is some sense still is) my life. Some of these people I no longer remember, and some I am happy to unremember, if I can get away with using that word, which is definitely NOT the same thing as forgetting.

Then there is a huge stack of letters from people I met in Europe, some who are still near and dear to me, and some I apparently loved deeply (or thought I loved deeply and what's the difference anyway?) though no longer have any contact with. How is that possible?

These letters give me insight into my life then, as I read comments and advice on problems or situations I had apparently written about. [Note: My future biographers will be thrilled with Efrat's 14-page letter. So will hers for that matter...] Or they were just ordinary communications about life and work and love, etc.

My heart is threatening to break over the loss of letters and postcards from my life: a few lines scribbled on a postcard, or volumes poured out on graph paper torn from a notebook, or that so-thin-that-you-can-see-through-it airmail stationery. It was all good. Some of these gems also include photographs taken of me by the letter-writer, which would now be just an email attachment. One such photograph--taken in 1991 on a train between New Orleans and Phoenix by a Dutch guy--reminds me that I actually used to take the time to have my eyebrows waxed. Good grief, who was that woman?

I suppose it doesn't help that I watched Central Station last night. The role that letters play in that film is truly staggering, and of course, heartbreaking.

When I was a freshman in college, one of my friends got drunk and told me (in front of all my other friends) that I was "an abstract bitch living in a concrete world." He meant it as an insult of course, but it was probably one of the nicest mean things anyone ever said about me to my face. And in many ways it's reassuring to know that some things haven't changed too much since I was 18. I mean how else could you describe someone who is seriously upset about the fact that no one writes letters anymore?

I tried to remedy this situation a couple years ago when I was living in Scotland by sending postcards. Though I did receive a few postcards in response, inevitably, I received responses via email saying: "Wow, thanks for the card! Very cool." And yes, I have a ton of emails stored in my archives, BUT IT IS JUST NOT THE SAME, OKAY??

There is hope, however. Since I've been in my new apartment, I have received a few cards and letters, and for that I should publicly thank my brother John, and three good friends from Germany: Ina, Tina, and Sabine. And I suppose I should be happy that people think of me, in whatever form it occurs. Still...

15 July 2007

Creep Factor: 7.3

I'm sorry, but a headless torso with an arm that I'm supposed to curl myself up in is just creepy. At least 1000 single women in Japan, however, find the new boyfriend pillows the practical alternative to snoring cheats.

Good grief, what does it say about Japanese men, when a one-armed stuffed pillow is seen as a welcome alternative to the "real" thing?

I know what you're thinking: "Hey hypocrite, what about Goldfinger?"

Different matter entirely...

13 July 2007

Lieber Jörg

Gute Besserung wünsche ich Dir aus Washington.

Jörg and Mechtild

Und viele liebe Grüße an Leyla, Rosa, und Jan!

12 July 2007

Kein Zurück

Okay, now I’m musically stuck in the summer of 2003.

During the heatwave that took many lives in Europe that summer, I was meant to be doing the fieldwork for my PhD. Leaving the apartment everyday was an act of courage because it was so hot. Moreover, I was terrified that I’d get the whole ethnography thing wrong and my research project would be a complete failure. As the days ticked away, and my field notebook remained dismally empty, inspiration came from a melancholy song about life from the synthpop duo Wolfsheim.

The song, Kein Zurück (loosely translated as No Return), is a reminder that life has no rewind button; you can’t return to the past, you just have to keep moving forward. It’s also a reminder that what you’re doing can’t ever really be undone: “was getan ist ist getan.” And finally, it is a reminder that life is what is happening now, and not in some magical future when you imagine you'll have all your shit together:

Deine Träume schiebst du endlos vor dir her
Du willst noch leben irgendwann
Doch wenn nicht heute, wann denn dann?
Denn irgendwann ist auch ein Traum zu lange her.

I was also moved by the crazy woman in the video, who seemed to embody all of the frustration I felt that summer. But let's not pretend that the song belongs to my past, I still listen to it at least once a day.


10 July 2007


Okay, so I'm doing my Turkish homework and I've got Istanbul on the brain. So I let my mind wander back to the summer of 2003 when I was living in Little Istanbul (Kreuzberg/Berlin) and Turkey won the Eurovision Song Contest with this entry:

Can I tell you how much fun it was to be living with a Turkish nationalist in a Turkish neighborhood in Berlin when Turkey won? Mind-boggling...

The artist, Sertab Erener, also released a music video for the track, which gives an idea of what the harem girls got up to while the sheik was away:

As for belly dancing, it is important to note that some Turkish men are also quite talented. Particularly the nationalists...

Okay, back to work.

Iyi geceler.

09 July 2007


Apparently the US is losing out on the global tourism market, and according to a recent Associated Press article, Congress aims to do something about it.


Well they could poll some of my friends around the world who have declined my invitations to come visit. Chief among the reasons they give for passing up on my generous hospitality include the eyeball scans and fingerprinting they would have to endure at US customs.* I mean really, is this any way to treat guests?

What kind of arrogance rules the land when the government appears to be surprised that many tourists are willing to pass on the opportunity to be abused by US Border Patrol agents? Frankly I'm surprised we've managed to hang on to as many visitors as we have.

According to the article, "the United States is the only global destination without an ongoing program to promote itself." Did I mention arrogance? Whatever. Senate Bill S.1661 proposes a new corporation to help promote the United States as a destination to travelers around the world. Visitors from the 27 Visa-waiver countries will be taxed to help pay for it.


*Okay, okay, a lot of them also doubt that I'll still be living in the US by the time they schedule their trips.

03 July 2007

Men at Work

I'd like for you to meet Luke.


Luke is the graphic design intern in my office this summer. After getting to know me a bit, Luke suggested that I re-think the manner in which I represent myself on this blog, so he took a crack at designing the new image that has replaced my photo.

I like it. It's abstract but honest; childlike but sophisticated; gray but also red. Luke may only be 20, but he's quite discerning. He saw right through me and captured my very soul in the complicated medium of Etch-a-Sketch.

Keep your eye on this kid: he's definitely going places.

03 June 2007

The Hustler Challenge

It's a rainy Sunday in Washington. The perfect kind of day to enjoy a pot of coffee and the Sunday paper. So I'm reading the Washington Post, which isn't the most stimulating newspaper on the planet, but it will suffice for a day like this.

Given how dull the Post is, you have to imagine my utter delight at the full-page ad I have just come across:

"Larry Flynt and Hustler Magazine announce a cash offer of up to $1 Million"

All you need to do is prove that you have had sex with a "current member of the United States Congress or a high-ranking government official."

What about wives and husbands, you ask? It says that the encounters need to be of an "illicit" nature, so I guess that rules out the marital bed.

The ad goes on to say that the "relations" need to "documented" and I guess for $1 million you're going to need more than a semen-stained linen dress from The Gap...as if they even do cute dresses anymore.

In any case, if this ad speaks to you, please call 1.800.251.2714 or email hustler@lfp.com with your hotel receipts, racy pics, etc.

I'm guessing the Blackberries around town are heating up with counter-offers...

29 May 2007

Have Your Say

My new favorite pastime is truly demented: I scan controversial news items just to read the other readers' comments. Trust me, this is a perverted wasted of time.

That said, it's also utterly fascinating. You can learn more than you want to know about the state of human consciousness by seeing what gets people really riled up. For example, David Aaronovitch has written a fairly unsympathetic account of the media circus surrounding the abduction of Madeleine McCann, a four-year old British girl who was taken from her bed in a holiday resort in Portugal, while her parents ate dinner in a nearby restaurant. In his article, Aaronovitch explores both the outpouring of grief and the intense media interest the case has generated. Given that the website set up for Madeleine has already experienced over 60 million hits, it's safe to say that there are a lot of people out there who feel very strongly about this little girl. And quite a few of them didn't appreciate having their motives questioned by some pesky journalist.

On the other hand, there is apparently another group which has apparently been suffering in silence. Pissed off because at least 40 other children have gone missing in the UK since Madeleine's disappearance without a call to arms for their safe return from David Beckham or Gordon Brown, these folks were more than happy to hear Aaronovitch hint at the fact that Madeleine is a big deal because she's pretty and white.

So, these two groups squared off in the Have Your Say section at the end of the article. Fascinating. The really cool part isn't when they diss Aaronovitch, but when they start dissing each other. To be fair, they also give positive feedback to the commenters that they agree with. But still, I go there for the dirt, not the props. As this was an article in the Times Online, it was all pretty civilized. If you want real nastiness, however, check out the Reader Comments at TMZ.com

Given that TMZ is a gossip site, let's just say that the readers posting comments there aren't quite as reserved as the readers at Times Online. Far from it. At TMZ the abuse comes fast and furious. Even the N-word gets tossed around with abandon. In fact, the comments become racial fairly quickly. I'm not sure why, but having read my fair share of them, I'd say that there's a lot of not-too-pent-up racism flourishing out here in Web 2.0...

In fact, it is pretty bad out here in cyberspace. CBSNews.com had to do away with reader comments in stories dealing with Barack Obama because of the racist content. If you want to get a mild idea of what I'm talking about here, here is a link to a blog posting from the Chicago Tribune discussing CBS' decision, followed by readers' comments.

I'm sure all of this means something. As for why I bother to read this stuff, I have a pretty good idea, but I'll have to get back to you about it later.

05 April 2007

In which our heroine rediscovers the love of her life and makes an impulsive purchase...

With all due respect to George Smiley, whom I so deeply love, I have just reconnected with my one true love: Don Quixote.

When Edith Grossman's translation was released in 2003, it was instantly hailed as THE definitive English translation. I was in Berlin at the time, knee-deep in my field work, and though I read the reviews in the New Yorker, the Guardian, and a billion other publications, simply had no time to curl up with my own copy. So it was also added to that list of books I would read when I finally finished my *@#!!% Ph.D.

Well, somehow after I finished my studies, I couldn't find the list, and I just read a bunch of random stuff: Austerlitz, The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, The Plot Against America, Bleak House, The Man who Smiled, Snow, Blindness, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loann, and some freaky Ruth Rendell thrillers, which put me right off dating.

Earlier this week I finished The Wonga Coup, which is a great read about the failed coup in Equatorial Guinea in 2004. (It's the one in which Maggie Thatcher's son was implicated.) After I finished that book I felt the need to retreat to classic literature and allowed myself to be inspired by the shelves in the bookshop around the corner from my office. And there, as i wandered through the C's I found it. Thank goodness Cervantes wrote this and not some guy named Saramago, because I was tired and ready to go home. Beyond the thrill of remembering that this was a book from my list, the wonderful cover and soothing internal design were like icing on the proverbial cake. I was so excited that I couldn't even wait to order it from Amazon. I paid full price!

I'd read Don Quixote while I was at Carolina. I took a Spanish class during summer school that met for three hours every day for six weeks and Don Quixote was what we read, discussed, and wrote about--inside and out. I'm guessing though, that reading Don Quixote at 21 is a completely different exercise from reading it at 46. Well in my case at least; at 21 I was an optimist and now I'm.... Gosh, I'm not sure what I am. Let's just say that the world makes me very sad and very happy at the same time.

In any case, I think it's the perfect time to curl up with one of literature's most compelling characters. But as soon as my stuff arrives from Berlin (and New York, and Rocky Mount) I'll reread all of my George Smiley novels. Wouldn't want to hurt his feelings...

17 March 2007

The Mr. Wrong Series: The Guy From Marcella's Group Therapy Session (Pt. 2)

Okay, so where were we?

Ah yes... I had agreed to meet him and we decided to do the deed on a Saturday afternoon at Eureka Joe, a wonderful coffee shop that USED to be on 5th Avenue (around 20th), but is no longer there.

I arrived first, and since there was the chance he wouldn't show up, I ordered my coffee and planted myself on a comfy couch with a book. About ten minutes later he walked in. We hadn't really described ourselves, I guess I figured Marcella had taken care of that when she was trying to convince us to hook up. In any case, he strolled over to the sofa and introduced himself. The fact that we were the only two black folks there may have made it a bit easier. He was wearing a tasteful black leather jacket** and jeans and seemed to be a very nice guy. I relaxed a bit.

He sat down on the sofa across from me and started talking. Since I wasn't sure if he knew the coffee shop, I pointed out that he would have to get his coffee at the counter as they didn't have table service. He said he'd get it later, then added:

"Does it bother you that I haven't ordered anything?"

I assured him that it didn't, which of course was not entirely true, but I didn't want to seem to weird about it. For the record though, we were there for almost three hours and he never ordered anything, while I drank a gallon of coffee to make up for him. He noticed this and said:

"I have money, don't worry. I just don't want anything to drink."

It wasn't like they only had coffee, there was a wide variety of beverages and snacks to choose from. He just wanted to talk. And so he did. About his mom (no longer living), his relationship with his siblings (strained), his job (excellent), and me (intriguing). At some points during his three-hour long introduction of himself, he actually started crying. This happened whenever he talked about his mother. He would also get really agitated when he talked about his siblings, and I was starting to get an idea of why he was in therapy.

Finally, I said that I needed to head home and he offered to walk me to the subway station. Once we arrived he asked if I'd like to have lunch with him the following week, as his office was quite near my own. Yeah, I know, but I said yes anyway. Then as I was about to descend into the subway, he politely asked if he could kiss me, to which I (equally) politely responded:


On Monday he called me at work and asked if I was free for lunch on Tuesday. I was, so we agreed on a time and a place. On Tuesday morning he called to ask if we could push it back an hour, and I said okay. At the appointed time he called and said he couldn't make it, but could we try again on Wednesday.

And so it went....

Wednesday arrived with apologetic phone calls, but no lunch. Thursday, Friday, and on into the next week. Finally, I suggested that he was simply too busy to be able to schedule lunch dates, so perhaps we should just forget it. He agreed that his schedule was indeed a bit crazy (he was, after all, an advertising executive), but why didn't we try something different. As I was new to NY and never ventured past Park Slope in Brooklyn or the East and West Village in Manhattan, he suggested that on the upcoming Saturday, I come to Harlem and he would show me around. Brunch, shopping, and a tour of his four-story brownstone (with four fireplaces).

This seemed reasonable. He had actually kept our first Saturday date and a day in Harlem sounded very cool. I agreed.

The Friday night before the big Saturday date, I was hanging out with one of my girlfriends and she wanted to go to another bar and I wanted to go home because I needed to get up early in order to meet my date in Harlem at 10:00 for breakfast. To which she replied:

"The guy who's been standing you up the past two weeks?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Check your voicemail at home."

"Why should I check my voicemail?"

"Because you'll feel like an idiot once you get home and he's stood you up for tomorrow morning and you missed the chance to have a nice evening out."

So I checked, and found the following message:

"Hi Inez, I'm so sorry, but something has come up for tomorrow and I won't be able to see you. I'll call you on Sunday."

How on earth did she know? Why on earth hadn't I suspected?

In any case, I didn't answer the phone when he called on Sunday. When he called me at work on Monday, I told him I was no longer interested and asked that he stop calling me. So he called back in an hour. And the hour after that, and the hour after that. He called countless times daily, and finally I had to slip the receptionist $20 to block his calls. After a week of talking to him every twenty minutes, she gave the money back and said it was my problem.

The last time he was put through to me I told him that the next time he called I would call the police. That seemed to do the trick.

I never did figure out the making/breaking dates game. If somebody out there can explain it, drop me a line.

Oh, and Marcella's take on all of this:

"God, you're picky. No wonder you're single."


**When I lived in Austin I met a very beautiful man, who happened to be in uniform. He asked me out, but when he showed up at my house to pick me up, he was wearing a crazy orange Michael Jackson leather jacket with about a billion zippers. Everywhere we went that night I ran into people I knew, who later asked: "That guy was fine, but what was up with that jacket?" Since then jackets have been a big deal. Shallow, but true...

18 February 2007

Any Marvin Gaye Fans out There?

If so, check out this BBC Radio documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sexual Healing.

Okay, so now you know that I'm a radio geek. Whatever...

Listening to this documentary, I think there's a very interesting case to be made about UK versus US approaches to soul music. But I'll let you lot sort that out.

Happy Sunday, and remember: When you get that feeling...

16 February 2007


Who didn't like the real-time perspective 24 offered when it premiered all those years ago? One of the characters would fly to LA from DC and it would take five episodes until you saw that character again, in order to allow for his/her flight. Mad cool. Not so cool (or perhaps DEFINITELY UNCOOL would be a better way to describe it) has been the increasing use of torture to procure information from the bad guys, who more often than not were"radical Islamists bent on destroying the American way." Not that this was ever entertaining, but after Abu Ghraib it struck me as seriously irresponsible.

So I was fairly dismayed when I read a recent piece in The New Yorker on Joel Surnow, the show's co-creator and executive producer. Not only was Surnow unrepentant about the torture, but the suspicions I had of the right-wing politics behind the show were confirmed in the article. But apparently I haven't been alone in my distaste for the nasty turn the show has taken. I mean for heaven's sake, how bad must the show's use of torture be, when a Brigadier General (also the dean of West Point) has to fly out to LA to suggest that they tone it down?

It seemed, however, that this was going to be a lost cause... until I read a piece at IMDB.com today, stating that 24's producer had agreed to cut the torture scenes. Lord bless the The New Yorker is about all I have to say to that. Though as a parting shot, I'm tempted to send Joel a little note letting him know that if he's that right-wing, that hair under his bottom lip can't really be referred to as a "soul patch."

Now if only the Vanity Fair piece on SAIC would work a similar sort of magic...

14 February 2007

The Mr. Wrong Series: The Guy from Marcella's Group Therapy Session (Pt. 1)

I moved to NY from San Francisco. About a year or so after I got to NY one of my former colleagues from SF also moved to NY. I had her over one Saturday morning for brunch, and at some point the conversation turned to my non-existent love life. She thought it was a "shame" that I was single, and in fact, she knew someone from her group therapy session who would be perfect for me. Of course I was too polite to ask about the issues her group was struggling with. I didn't know Marcella that well, but what I knew about her was that she was a pretty cool woman. Okay, there was that bit about being Sicilian-American with murder in her family history. Apparently her grandmother appealed to her brother-in-law to kill her husband (his brother) because he was mistreating her. Upon successful completion of the act, she agreed to marry him and emigrate to the United States. But I'm not sure that would have been enough to send someone into therapy.

In any case, I reluctantly agreed to at least talk with him on the phone, and gave her permission to give him my number. I waited a few days and heard nothing, which to be honest was a bit of a relief. He apparently wasn't in group because he was a telephone stalker... or so I thought. Well after about a week the phone rang one night/morning at 1:30 am. I checked the caller id and didn't recognize the number, so I didn't answer it. Who on earth could be calling so late in the middle of the week? When I checked my voice mail later, the caller turned out to be the guy from group. Now of course the warning signals should have gone off right then. What kind of guy calls a woman he doesn't know, for the very first time, at 1:30 in the morning??

I didn't return his call, and was prepared to forget the whole thing, but he called again the next day at a more respectable hour. He apologized for calling so late the night before, explaining that he worked in advertising and had been up late working and didn't realize the time. Blessed/cursed with a forgiving nature, I accepted his apology. We chatted for about an hour, then made plans to meet on the following Saturday afternoon for coffee.

Thus began one of the strangest two-week encounters I have ever experienced.

Stay tuned for Part 2.


02 February 2007

Overheard at Ikea...

So I was at Ikea on Wednesday night. I went there to find a down comforter, but everything with feathers was being pulled from the shelves. When asked why, the sales clerk said it had to do with a safety issue. Bird flu feathers??

In any case, while I wandered around I witnessed the following exchange between an interracial couple (black woman/white man) shopping for furniture:

She: No, no, no. It doesn't have to match.

He: Well, I think it would be nice if it matched.

She: I'm telling you it doesn't have to match. Come on honey, WE don't match!

That made me smile all the way to the checkout line.

25 January 2007

And you thought you were having a bad day...

I know what you're thinking: After being away so long, I reconnect with my virtual self by writing about one of the most depressing films ever made? What's up with that, right? Well, the way I see it, it can only get more lighthearted after this... or not, we'll just have to see.

In any case, for your consideration I offer my take on
Darwin's Nightmare. Yeah, I know it came out ages ago. In fact, I saw it in February 2006. How crazy is it though, that I'm only starting to recover from it in January 2007? But then again, perhaps it's not as crazy as it sounds once the facts have been considered.

Let's begin with the fact that I am a very sensitive person. I've been known to cry at McDonald's commercials. Remember the one in Eighties when the old guy takes a part-time job at Mickey D's and all the kids there are really nice to him and he comes home all smiley and proud of his new job? How sad that he couldn't just enjoy his retirement and hang
out at home with his wife. But then again maybe she wanted some space. She probably wasn't used to having him around the house all day. She may have even cooked the books so that he would think that they needed the extra money. Who knows? I digress...

Okay, let's consider the particulars of the film. Imagine 107 minutes of absolutely EVERYTHING that's wrong with the world: environmental disaster, prostitution, street children, AIDS, corruption, exploitation, racism, sexism, hunger, poverty, gluttony, arms dealing, greed, murder, drug abuse, maggots, rotten fish, and the World Bank. Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant film and one of the most extraodinary efforts by a filmmaker (Hubert Sauper) I have ever experienced.

It's just that I'm not sure this film was the best choice for a world-weary chick. Don't worry I can eat fish again, but given that this film was followed closely by
Why we Fight, Syriana, and Cache/Hidden, I think that what was left of my idealism has eroded. I'm not going to go into details about the film, but if you've seen it I know you know what I'm talking about. Right Ina? Henry?? If you haven't seen it I'm not going to insist that you do so, cuz I know what you're in for, but I'll definitely respect your strength if you do so. Now that I think about it though, I do recall a sliver of hope there at the very end of the film obviously inserted so that we wouldn't all run out of the theater and fling ourselves off of the Brooklyn Bridge in despair... or not, maybe I just imagined it.

It's nice to be back!


21 January 2007

I'm Back...

I finished the Ph.D.

Now I have a new job in a new city and in two weeks I'll also have a new apartment. According to my calculations, DC is the 15th city I've lived in. I think I'm kinda ready to "settle down."

More about all of this newness later.